Morocco’s tense relations with its Spanish neighbor across the strait took a turn for the worse on Saturday when Rabat’s Foreign Ministry lodged a complaint, requesting that Madrid investigate the entrance of a Western Sahara independence leader into Spain in April. Officials should look into “the conditions, circumstances and connivances that led to the fraudulent entry of this person using false documents and a usurped identity,” the ministry said. Spain’s hosting of Brahim Ghali, leader of the Algeria-backed Polisario Front movement fighting for decades for independence for the disputed Western Sahara territory, has strained relations between the countries, leading Rabat to apparently relax border security at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco last week. Consequently, thousands of migrants managed to enter European soil. While Spain claims Ghali was allowed entry for strictly humanitarian purposes and is being treated for coronavirus, Morocco is demanding the 71-year-old be tried for war crimes, for which he faces a court date in Spain. Last year, former United States President Donald Trump recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in return for Morocco’s normalizing relations with Israel, leading the Polisario Front to renew its armed struggle.
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